Searching for Certainty in Uncertain Times

By: Jeff Mortimore, RSI Community Connector


I’m probably like many people these days, spending a lot of time trying to dissect the news and educating myself on how best to navigate these uncertain waters. Unless I’m missing something, I have yet to see anything certain about the path ahead. We think there are experts, looking to science and modeling, who can see the future ahead. However, we often see these claims refuted, only to be replaced with blame and frustration. We make ourselves delirious, spinning our minds through the same handful of scenarios we come up with over and over, never feeling any closer to a resolution.

However, it seems a great paradox of life that it is actually through embracing the uncertainty, we thrive. Our lives are greatly determined by what we do when faced with uncertainty. Without uncertainty, we might never grow because we would never be pushed beyond our comfort zones. Contrary to popular ideas, not knowing exactly what will happen in our lives is okay. In fact, it can actually be quite liberating…if you can begin to let go. We are all different in how much uncertainty we can tolerate in our lives. Some people seem to enjoy taking risks and living with unpredictability, while others find the randomness in life deeply distressing. But, we all have our limit. If you feel overwhelmed by uncertainty and worry, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. As they say, “we’re all in this together!”

I don’t pretend to have all (or any) answers to this new crisis, as it’s new ground to cover and the landscape is a little less defined. However, I do know that worrying about the future is a bit tricky.  Unfortunately, chronic worrying can’t give you more control over uncontrollable events; instead, it just robs you of enjoyment in the present, saps your energy, and keeps you up at night. But, there are healthier ways to cope—and that begins with adjusting your current mindset. 

For myself, I have to begin by forcing myself to look at my mindset. What real control do I have to save our world, our community, even our businesses? However, I do have control of who I contact, how I contact them, and what message I convey. It all comes down to my attitude and emotional response, and that can make a difference to a person who needs love and connection in their life. Some of my recent conversations have been transformative, yet so simple. I don’t think that we as human beings are looking for anything sensational at this point, but it is in the reflection and reassurance that we get our strength.

I think there is a sense of peace when we can learn to accept uncertainty, and recognize when you feel the need to be certain. One of the surest ways to avoid excessive worrying about the future is to focus on the present. Instead of trying to predict what might happen, switch your attention to what IS happening right now. By being fully connected to the present, you can interrupt the negative assumptions and catastrophic predictions running through your mind. I have heard it said that the furthest distance in the universe is from the head to the heart, but it is in the stillness that we find this path. It is in the quiet space that we can get out of our heads and connect deeply with ourselves, thereby allowing ourselves to be open to possibilities and opportunities when they arrive. But, here’s the big takeaway: this might take a new dedication, a new mindset, and a new way of seeing yourself and the world. But, I do think that this is a time to be kind to yourself, be more curious, and attend to your need for becoming more grounded in the reality of uncertainty.


Learn more about Jeff’s work at RSI on our Community Connections page.